HOUTAN PARK, SHANGHAI A former industrial site located on the Huangpu River, Houtan park now serves as an ecological infrastructure cleaning polluted river water, whilst providing flood protection and creating spaces for food production, habitat, education and public recreation all within the context of the rapidly urbanizing city of Shanghai. The park consists of a constructed wetland, ecological flood control, urban agriculture and reclaimed industrial structures and materials. All integral components of an overall restorative design strategy which mimicks many principles of an eco-system.
The linear constructed wetland runs through the center of the park 1.7 kilometers long and 5- 30 meters wide. It was designed to create a reinvigorated waterfront as a living machine to treat contaminated water from the Huangpu River. Cascades and terraces are used to oxygenate the nutrient rich water, remove and retain nutrients and reduce suspended sediments while creating pleasant water features; Different species of wetland plants were selected and designed to absorb different pollutants from the water. Field testing indicates that 2,400 cubic meters (500,000 gallons) per day of water can be treated from Lower Grade V to Grade III. The treated water can be used safely throughout the Expo for non-potable uses, and save half a million US dollars in comparison with conventional water treatment. The wetland also acts as a flood protection buffer between the 20and 1000-year flood control levees. The existing concrete floodwall was replaced by a more habitat friendly riprap that allows native species to grow along the riverbank while protecting the shoreline from erosion.
The reclaimed steel panels hail the site's former industrial spirit. Situated throughout the wetland valley, the folded steel panels are used to frame views of Shanghai's skyline and highlight the industrial past. The materials are reconfigured to create artful forms, new paving material for the boardwalk, and shelters.
Biomimetic Design for Landscape Architecture